Shine a Light

We took our students outdoors today for the first time in months. The sun was shining brightly, despite a forecast calling for rain and cold and possibly snow this weekend. The kids were psyched; they would’ve gone outside for class if it meant picking up garbage in the parking lot or pulling weeds from the garden near the school.

Our students were creating small models that displayed the angle of the sun as it shines on Albany, NY on the vernal equinox, which is two days away. They had calculated the angle of the sun inside our classrooms using models earlier this morning.  Now they were outdoors, testing whether their hypotheses were correct.  They were all mostly engaged and excited about what they were doing.  Plus the sun was shining.  And it was Friday afternoon.

Despite the complicated science work and some frustrations at trying to find true north, the kids were just loving being outdoors. There was no real rush to go indoors once most of the groups were done with their work.


It felt wonderful. I’m not sure if they realized how much the teachers were enjoying it too. I’m not their science teacher, and I don’t know the angle of the sun in Albany in the spring, or the summer or the fall. But I do know this: spring will be here in two days and the sun will be shining more and more as the school year nears its end. I plan on taking my students outdoors from time to time in my English and Social Studies classes…that’s going to be my angle.


8 thoughts on “Shine a Light

  1. I used to take my LA classes outside with writing notebooks in hand. it was always wonderful. Since I’ve retired, we try to head outside for our after school book club meetings whenever possible. Love the title for your post and your closing words, “That’s my angle.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love taking my students outside too for some reading instead of doing it inside the classroom. Changing the environment does change the mood. There’s nothing better than reading underneath the tree. I can imagine your students enjoying the fresh air!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ramona took my end “angle” — ta-dum!

    Yes, this a great idea, thanks for the idea. We’re coming back from Spring Break this Monday and it’d be a great into into our Poetry unit. A way to keep the kids awake, yay!

    Happy Springy Equinoxy Day-ey!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We don’t get outside much during the colder months with our kids either. But once the warmer weather approaches, I will try to take them out for reading or writing activities. The funny thing is that they often think teachers don’t enjoy being outside which, as you know, couldn’t be farther from reality! Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We had bright sunshine on Tuesday and an unscheduled fire drill near the end of the day. It was so beautiful out a few of us joked about sending the kids back in and staying outside. It made it feel like a Friday, I think because the sunshine warmed our bodies and souls.

    Liked by 1 person

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